Global vehicle leasing company Arval has published a new guide to support fleet decision-making related to the future use of diesel and alternative fuels.
In the short-term, it predicts that diesel remains essential despite Europe’s planned transition away from fossil fuels, as it currently accounts for two-thirds of car and light commercial vehicle registrations for fleets.
It is also critical to helping EU and national governments meet their carbon dioxide emission targets, as diesels emit much less of the global warming gas compared to equivalent petrol engines.
As a result, there will only be a steady decline in diesel use on fleets, with Arval predicting the fuel’s share of its UK fleet will fall to 78% by 2020, compared to 90% today. Diesel demand hit a peak of 56% in 2011 in Arval’s 15 EU countries, falling to 50% in 2016.
Arval’s whitepaper, called ‘Clearing the air around diesel’, says gradual change is important to allow authorities, manufacturers and fleets to adapt infrastructure, production resources, vehicle purchasing policies and operating procedures.
In response to ongoing changes, Arval is revising its method of calculating wholelife costs, including new driver segmentation and driving and location models.
It will also consider new alternatives such as vehicle sharing, which are effective additions to the use of the private car.
This recognises that, during the transition to carbon-free transport, diesel, petrol, hybrids and electric vehicles will all play an important role on fleets, depending on their specific requirements, along with alternative mobility services.
Phillipe Bismut, CEO of Arval, said: “It was important for us to make an inventory of energy uses, while the world is experiencing an unprecedented transition in this area.
“This approach is beneficial in supporting our clients towards even more appropriate solutions, but also in bringing a more global reflection on the mobility of tomorrow.”
Shaun Sadlier, head of UK consultancy at Arval, said: “During the second half of last year, diesel became perhaps the most discussed topic with our fleet clients.
“Our view at that point in time was that a lot of what was being said and being reported was spurious, and that the correct thing to do was to wait and formulate a position that we believed was correct and sustainable. This measured thinking forms the basis of our white paper.
“Fleets of the future will use a mix of all available fuels and diesel will continue to be a viable and important element. The difficult part will be making the right fuel choices for the right applications, and we see helping fleets make these decisions as a key part of our consultancy offering moving forward.”